Early voting down in Tennessee

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February 29, 2012


NASHVILLE, Tennessee: Early voting for Tennessee's March 6 presidential preference primary election came to a close Tuesday. The early voting period opened on February 15. Some counties, including Davidson County, are reporting a significant drop in GOP early voter turnout compared with 2008. While early and absentee voting in Davidson dropped by over 50%, other counties, like Rutherford and Sumner, reported increases. However, overall early voting is down across the state. In Tennessee, any registered voter may choose to vote early at their county election commission office or at a satellite voting location opened by their commission. Prospective absentee voters, however, must meet certain eligibility conditions.[1]

This is the first statewide election since Tennessee's new voter ID law took effect. Some worry that the new law will discourage voters. However, without a Democratic primary, the decline in early voting may be attributable to a generally less active primary season. Voters unable to produce photo-ID may still cast a provisional ballot. So far, only 19 citizens have cast a provisional ballot.[2]

The primary for congressional and legislative candidates will be held on August 8. Early voting in that primary will begin on July 13. The August 8 primary will be the first statewide election to take place under the new redistricting maps. For more information on who is running, how to vote, and where to vote, see the resources linked below.[3]

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